Nostalgia. If you’ve ever doubted that a decent book can be written about anything at all, give a chance to Matthew Algeo’s book, Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip. Algeo describes a 1953 road trip that Harry and Bess Truman took from Independence, Missouri to Washington, on to New York, and back to Independence after Eisenhower became president. Harry did all the driving in a vehicle that’s almost a character in the book: a black 1953 Chrysler New Yorker. Algeo retraced the Truman’s route, and added a quirky dimension to the book by inserting his own experiences at some of the stops along the way, and what happened to some places in the intervening decades. This book presents a great image of 1953, with a decent dose of nostalgia, and personalization by the insertion of Algeo’s current experience of this route. The pictures helped, mostly because every time I saw a photo Harry Truman’s wide smile, especially when behind the wheel of the New Yorker, I found myself leaning into a grin of my own.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)